Denmark is a relatively small country and the highest point above sea level is only 173m, but it has over 7,000km of coastline with marshland, mudflats, inlets and coastal meadows. Furthermore, Denmark lies on the main migration routes between continental Europe and the rest of Scandinavia. In spring and autumn, a massive migration of landbirds – both raptors and passerines – takes place, while enormous numbers of wildfowl and waders stop off, some of them even spending winter here. Denmark actually hosts almost the whole population of Pale-bellied Brent Geese from Spitzbergen in the winter months. In summer we are home to a large population of breeding waterbirds and approximately 200 bird species breed regularly in Denmark.
There are some 13,000 members of Dansk Ornitologisk Forening (DOF - BirdLife Denmark), which is the only national organisation for birders in Denmark.
Most members look at their feeders, of course, but also birding is pretty common at wetland sites and at visible migration watch-points. Twitching is a small but fast growing pastime indulged in by perhaps between 300 and 500 people, but only about fifty go for every rare bird.
There are about 100 ringers and only six Bird Observatories in Denmark with regular activities. Many people undertake some kind of monitoring or organisation work through DOF. There are two birdlines. BirdAlarm cost around £35 a year and is used also in Norway and Sweden so you can received bird news from these countries as well. BirdAlarm provides fast information about the occurrence of rarities as well as more common birds. Besides that there is BirdCall which is free, but does not receive so many reports as BirdAlarm. There are 13 regional bird magazines in black and white – one for each local branch. DOF – BirdLife Denmark provides two national bird magazines, which are in colour.
The best birding sites in Denmark are along the Danish west coast. In the south you find the northern part of the Wattensea. 100,000 birds, primarily ducks, geese and shorebirds, are visible in the area throughout the year. Further north along the coastline there are several wetlands, which all act as magnets to waterfowl. The entire coast is good for migrating seabirds, especially in the strong westerly winds.
At the westernmost point lies Blaavand Bird Observatory, where there is ringing of migrant birds in spring and autumn.
In the northernmost part of Jutland is Skagen. Skagen acts as a bottleneck and is probably Northern Europe's best spring migration point for birds of prey. Migration here starts in April and ends in mid June. Skagen Bird Observatory provides daily updates and counts of migrating birds in Skagen.
Another good spring migration site for birds is Gilbierg in North Zealand. Ten thousand Cranes pass North Zealand each year – especially if the wind is in the right direction.
South of Copenhagen is the coast called Stevns. This is the site for birds of prey during autumn. When birds of prey leave Falsterbo in Sweden, Danes are ready to see them when they come off the sea.
The capital, Copenhagen, holds most birdwatchers and visitors to Copenhagen should visit West Amager, which is the best birding place near the capital.
The Southernmost point is Gedser. Birds of prey coming in from Sweden and first seen at Stevns, can sometimes be relocated on their further migration either by Gedser, Hyllekrog or Stignæs before leaving Zealand. As in Skagen and Blaavand birds are ringed at Gedser Bird Observatory. 2010 was a record year with over 20,000 ringed birds.
Towards the east is the island of Bornholm. Northeast of Bornholm are Christiansø that for many years was regarded as the Danish equivalent to Fair Isle.
Remember - politically the Faroe Isles are part of Denmark, but biologically they are not - Danes do not 'count' Faroes birds on their Danish lists.
Morten Bentzon Hansen
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 464
National Bird - Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder
Guides & Tour Operators
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Rockjumper Birding Tours
Denmark offers excellent temperate zone birding, great scenery and welcoming people. Our tour is timed for the prime spring period and encompasses a wide variety of habitats, so we can expect to notch up most of the region’s important species.
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2004 [August] - Hans Schick
From August 16 – 22, 2004 I spent a week in Copenhagen in order to participate in the 17th International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry. During the lunch time I walked through the grass- and wetlands surrounding the Bella Congress Centre at the outskirts of the Danish capital. After the conference I used the opportunity for two excursions at the coast of the Kattegat near Tisvildeleje and at the Øresund north of Klampenborg…
2008 [March] - Dirk Raes
…Vest Stadil Fjord, Husby Klitvej (the road between Søndervig and Husby), opposite Strandgarden on the west side of the fjord: giant flocks of Pink-footed Geese (5000+)…
2011 [May-June] - David Hoddinott - Sweden & Denmark
Excellent birds, good transport and roads, interesting culture and history, friendly people, comfortable accommodations, great food, beautiful scenery and wilderness and a wonderful group of participants, all combined to make this, our maiden Scandinavia adventure, a resounding success!
Places to Stay
Through their website BirdLife Denmark has links to a some nice places to stay…
The national nature protection society.
Dansk Ornitologisk Forening - BirdLife Denmark
Vesterbrogade 140, DK-1620Copenhagen V. +45 33283800; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Danish Ornithological Society - is an independent, non-governmental organisation founded in 1906. The Society is involved in environmental awareness, scientific-based research and integrated conservation and development work. The national bird club which has 12.000 members. There are thirteen local branches (links below) - see: map of all branches: http://www.dof.dk/sider/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=88&Itemid=114
Dansk Ornitologisk Forening - Observation Database
Daily observations of birds recorded in Denmark…
Dansk Ornitologisk Forening Shop
The DOF virtual shop with books, binoculars and stuff.
DOF - Fyn
The branch covers Funen. Seven IBA’s are located here with Arreskov Sø, Firtalsstrand and Langeland being the best places to birdwatch…
DOF - Østjylland
The branch covers Eastern Jutland. 16 IBA’s are located here with Norsminde Fjord, Egå Engsø and Årslev Engsø being the best places to bird…
DOF - Bornholm
The branch covers the islands of Bornholm and Ertholmene. Two IBA’s are located here with Christiansø and Almindingen being the best places to birdwatch…
DOF - København
The branch covers the capital. Nine IBA’s are located here with Vestamager, Ølsemagle Revle and Stevns being the main birding places…
DOF - Nordjylland
The branch covers northern Jutland. Nine IBA’s are located here with Skagen, Lille Vildmose and Ulvedybet being the best places to birdwatch…
DOF - Nordsjælland
The branch covers Northern Zealand. Six IBA’s are located here with Vaserne and the north coast being the main birding locations…
DOF - Nordvestjylland
The branch covers North Western Jutland. Seven IBA’s are located here with Vejlerne and Agger Tange being the best places to bird…
DOF - Pandion
DOF - Sønderjylland
The branch covers Southern Jutland. 16 IBA’s are located here with the Waddensea, Margrethekog, Slivsø and the island of Rømø being the best places to bird…
DOF - Storstrøm
The branch covers the southern islands Falster, Lolland and Møn. 13 IBA’s are located here with Møn, Gedser and Maribo lakes being the best places to birdwatch…
DOF - Sydøstjylland
The branch covers South Eastern Jutland. The seven IBA’s here are Alrø, Horsens Nørrestrand, Mossø, Nørlund Plantation and Harrild Heath, Randbøl Heath, Salten Langsø and forest along the northern side of Vejle Fjord…
DOF - Sydvestjylland
The branch covers South Western Jutland. Nine IBA’s are located here with Blaavand, Mandø, Skallingen and Filsø being the best places to birdwatch…
DOF - Vestjylland
The branch covers Western Jutland. 14 IBA’s are located here with Tipperne, Skjern Enge and Stadil Fjord being the best places to bird…
DOF - Vestsjælland
The branch covers Western Zealand. Five IBA’s are located here with Tissø, Tyrstrup Bavelse lakes and Korshage being the best places to birdwatch…
Fuglevaernsfonden runs 20 bird reserves in Denmark. They all have outstanding nature and most of them are open to visitors…
Skagen Fuglefestival takes place every year in Skagen the 2nd weekend in May
Blåvand Bird Observatory
Blaavand Bird Observatory is located in the eastern part of the North Sea, situated at the westernmost tip of Denmark. The observatory was started by the Danish Ornithological Society in 1963 and is still run by volunteers of the society. In 1963 a standard observation programme was introduced which is still setting the guidelines for observations resulting in one of the longest standardised observation series in Europe. It is the oldest and best-equipped bird observatory in Denmark…
Christiansø Bird Observatory
Christiansø is the easternmost point in Denmark. Christiansø is part of the islands called Ertholmerne 18 KM northeast of Bornholm. Christiansø is approximately 770 m long and 440 m wide. Is was formerly the Danish pendant to Fair Isle, but extreme rarities has been absent for a long period probably due to reduced ringing activities…
Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre
The Bird Ringing Data Collection of the Zoological Museum, known as the Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre, comprises data from Denmark as well as the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The Collection consists of ringing data for altogether c. 2.5 million birds as well as information on c. 150,000 recoveries. The annual number of ringed birds varies between 100,000 and 120,000. While the ringing data are still manu- ally recorded, the main part of the recoveries are stored in a computer database. Government Site.
Gedser Bird Observatory
Gedser is the southernmost tip of Denmark. With more than 20.000 birds trapped and ring in 2010, Gedser is on of the most active bird observatory’s in Denmark…
Gilbjerg Bird Observatory
Bird observatory in the northernmost part of Northern Zealand…
Skagen Bird Observatory
Migratory routes over Denmark are generally spread over a wide front, but in certain cases migration is concentrated, due to special geographical conditions. This is the case at Skagen (also known as the Skaw) as Jutland has the form of a giant funnel with Skagen at the end. Bird news daily.
Copenhagen University Zoological Museum
The main collection comprises study skins, altogether c. 110,000 specimens of c. 7,000 species. This collection is arranged in systematic order and with a geographical subdivision within individual species. Half of this collection is from Denmark and the North Atlantic Dependencies, obtained mainly by Finn Salomonsen. There are modest collections from Scandinavia and relatively little from other parts of Europe. Important sections comprise the private collection of Lehn Schiøler of c. 30,000 Nordic waterfowl, collected mainly for detailed studies of of seasonal and age-related plumage variations. Large series also exist of shorebirds. The series of gyrfalcons Falco rusticolus comprises c. 800 specimens, representing c. half of all material kept in museums. An historically important collection is c. 100 mounts from the beginning of the 19th Century (Peter C. Wöldike).
Forums & Mailing Lists
News about birding in Denmark…
I am a Brit living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark, for three years. I am a keen birdwatcher. I do not have a car so do most of my birding by cycle and public transport. My favourite sites are Sydvestpynten (on the island of Amager just south of Copenhagen), Nordhavnstippen (the edge of the industrial harbour to the north of Copenhagen) and Vestamager, a large area of open wet ground and birch forest. I also like to explore southern Sweden, especially Falsterbo and the western coast up to Gothenburg…
Birding NJ (Northern Jutland)
I am a birder living in Aalborg - the unofficial capital of the best birding place in Denmark - Northern Jutland!
A Visitor’s Guide to Copenhagen Birds
This guide is aimed at visiting birders who have some time to spend birding in the Copenhagen area…
Danish Bird List
The database containing records of all Danish rarities will continually be updated…
Fugle go Natur (Birds & Nature)
Forum, Blog, Gallery etc…
Fugle i Felten
This is probably is one of the best overall danish sites. It has internet updates on Beaman and Madges birds of europe, which also would be of interest to Norwegians and Swedes - It says of itself: Birding in Denmark with a complete list of the birds of Denmark including records of all rarities, photos and news about the latest rarities, Danish birders ranking and observations from Zealand…
Danish site with lots of (mostly Scandinavian) bird links.
Birds on Fyn…
Stig Linander's Home Page
Many net birders have put descriptions of birding spots on the net as an aid to other birders asking the everlasting question: Where to go birding? On this page you will find links to descriptions of Danish birding spots. You will also find descriptions of a few spots outside Denmark. These spots have given me unique birding experiences…
vejlerWEB - VAbasen online
A page containing news on vejlerne, our maybe best locality and other obs. from the county of Viborg
Photographers & Artists
Gallery - Birds of Denmark
A Scandinavian bird site… mostly galleries of some terrific photos.
Gallery – Netfugl
More than 57.000 birdimages from all over the world…
Photographer - Klaus Mortensen - Qpix Naturfoto
Danish Wildlife photography-Birds and Nature Photo Gallery…
Photographer - Tobias Hjorth
Tobias Hjorth's hobby and general interest for photographing birds and other wildlife evolved immediately after he purchased his first telephoto lens. Great reviews too. Today Tobias lives in the Denmark enjoying his passion and the great outdoors…